Tuesday, April 15, 2014


What is a volunteer?

  1. a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.
  1. 1.
    freely offer to do something.
    "he volunteered for the job"

I was chatting to my Dad yesterday as he has a meeting today about volunteering. He volunteers at a museum where he helps get the gas driven tractors ready for the upcoming local parades and shows. Yes - the apple didn't fall far from the tree in our family - both my parents volunteer and over the years - they have volunteered a LOT. Not so much when they were actively farming, but once they finished with their "real" jobs, they volunteered.

And not just sitting on a committee, but running the committee. And in many cases, they have done the same job for years.  Yep - the apple didn't far from the tree at my house.

Sometimes I wish I was a psycology (???) student doing a thesis in volunteerism.  And why?  Well it never ceases to amaze me that in a group - there is only a portion of the group who would ever consider volunteering.  And it doesn't matter how big the group is or what the theme of the group is - it is the SAME.  And then of those willing to volunteer, only a fraction are interested in doing anything BIG and only a hand full will want to be the leader!!!!!     I think it is fascinating how that works out.

There are so many questions I would love to know the answers to...........
1. Why do people volunteer?
2. Why do people join a group and assume that they can get the benefit of the group without putting anything back in?
3. Why do some people think they are above certain jobs - like I signed up just to drive the tractor, but I will leave the dirty work of getting the tractor operable to someone else. In other words - I want only the glory, not the behind the scenes work.
4. Why do people think they can abuse the volunteers (this can be other volunteers or the organization that the volunteers are working for - think INTERNS today - many of them are UNPAID!!!!!!!)
5. Can the group dynamics change the behaviour of individuals and their volunteer behavior?

And those are just the few on the top of my head. But do you not agree that this would be a PERFECT thesis. Anyway - I am just curious about all those questions and MANY MANY more. Mostly because I am a volunteer and I think it is important to our community that we volunteer.

Now I know some would same that the jobs I volunteer for are non-essential and they would be right. I don't go out and save lives or fight fires. But I think as a volunteer that you must do something that you like to do or work with people who have the same interests as yourself.

I just know that as our quilt guilds wind down their 2013/2014 year and quilt show committees are getting put together that we are all struggling to get volunteers to fill the exisitng positions.

The 80/20 rule is so much a part of the volunteer community.  How does one change that?   Can it be changed? Well - I could keep asking questions all day. And don't get me started on members of a group who are quite happy to NOT lift a finger at any time - even so much as putting away a chair!

Well - I have a busy busy day (what else is new!!!!!!!!)

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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